EU in talks with 3rd countries on travel certificates

The regulation is scheduled to enter into force on July 1 with a phasing-in period of six weeks for any member state that needs additional time…reports Asian Lite News.

The European Commission is engaged in negotiations with third countries, such as the UK and the US, on the mutual recognition of Covid-19 travel certificates, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said here.

At a press conference following a meeting for the Justice Ministers of the European Union (EU), Reynders said on Monday that since the US does not intend to issue a federal vaccination “passport”, “we have to think about other kinds of proof for vaccination or recovery or tests, but it must be possible to solve the issue”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Reynders said the Commission was finalising its new recommendations on free movement.

“I hope that this week we will make progress on new rules at EU level to lift the restrictions and to facilitate free movement,” he said.

The EU’s Digital COVID Certificate was proposed by the Commission to facilitate safe travel this summer.

Workers disinfect a piece of luggage at the airport

The system would allow the verification of national certificates in a secure and privacy-friendly way.

Available in digital format or on paper, it will provide proof that a person has been vaccinated against the virus, tested negative or recovered from an infection.

The regulation is scheduled to enter into force on July 1 with a phasing-in period of six weeks for any member state that needs additional time.

Meanwhile, a court in Brussels is expected to announce its verdict “as soon as possible” on the ongoing spat between the EU and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca over shortfalls in deliveries of its coronavirus vaccine to the bloc.

A health worker analyses samples of COVID-19 vaccines, developed by Chinese company Sinovac

Following a brief hearing, the court closed all debates on Friday.

The EU is seeking compensation from AstraZeneca for an alleged breach of a contract concluded last summer, in which supplies of Covid-19 vaccines that were promised to all 27 member states were not delivered in full.

According to the EU, AstraZeneca delivered only 30 million doses to the bloc in the first quarter of 2021, despite promising 300 million doses throughout 2021.

In its defence, AstraZeneca has claimed that the terms and conditions of the contract were respected in full, and the company moreover has argued that it has kept the EU informed of all the developments linked to the process of producing and delivering the vaccine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said earlier this week that half of EU adults would have received their first dose of the vaccine this week, as 300 million doses are delivered, and 245 million doses administered.

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